What Does Purple Butterfly Mean – The purple butterfly stickers help identify when a child is at risk in the hospital. Millie Smith donated
When Millie Smith was 30 weeks pregnant, she gave birth to identical daughters, Skye and Callie. Callie was rushed to intensive care, while Skye – who was born with an incurable brain condition called anencephaly – survived just three hours. But the new mom and her husband, Louis Cain, packed a lifetime of love into those three hours.
What Does Purple Butterfly Mean
“Louise and I cuddled with Skye … and talked to her about our family and how we wanted her to grow up with her sister,” Smith told Us Weekly. “We told her how much we loved her. Then I told her I was sorry I couldn’t create her better. I thought it was my fault. I knew it wasn’t, but I still feel guilty. We said we’d never forget her.
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Days later, when the grieving mother visited Callie in the neonatal intensive care unit at Kingston Hospital in the UK, the exhausted parents of twins turned to Smith and made an innocent comment that devastated her. “He said, ‘You’re so lucky you don’t have twins,'” Smith, 24, told us. “Up to this point I had never cried in front of anyone’s parents. But that was it, I left the room in tears.”
“I didn’t have the courage to go back and tell our story,” Smith continued. I didn’t want him to feel bad. The comment was not meant to be mean and was probably a joke, but it was discouraging.”
That’s when real estate agents in Surrey, England came up with the idea of making purple butterfly stickers for NICUs to help identify when a baby has survived the death of one or more siblings. The flyer, which is now at Kingston Hospital, reads: “When visiting this neonatal unit as a friend, family member or friend, please note the butterfly logo on each bed. It represents a baby that was part of multiple pregnancies but unfortunately not all babies survived.”
“I chose butterflies because I thought it was appropriate to remember the children who flew away,” says Smith, “and purple because it’s appropriate for both boys and girls.”
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He was surprised by the response. “So far, about 115 hospitals have contacted me about wanting to implement this idea,” Smith tells us. “I thought it would be our local hospital!”
Smith started a crowdfunding page called Skye’s Wish to support the doll stickers and help create support groups for families who have lost a child during pregnancy or childbirth. Millie Smith and Louis Cann’s daughter, Skye, only lived for three hours, but even that was a miracle – and her legacy could help other families who have lost a child.
Smith first found out she was pregnant in November 2015, and told her parents she had a “gut feeling” she was having twins. Twins have run in her family for generations, so Smith found out at 10 weeks that she wasn’t expecting identical twin girls.
Just two weeks later, Smith and Cain were devastated to learn that one of their children had a life-threatening condition. “During the scan, the doctor did not say anything. I was very excited and would have loved to see the children, but it was silent. Lewis and I immediately knew there had to be a problem,” Smith said. Doctors broke the news that one of the children had anencephaly, a neural tube defect where the top of the neural tube doesn’t close all the way, preventing parts of the brain from forming correctly.
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Lewis Caan and Millie Smith prepare to give birth to twins with the help of midwife Joe Bull.Millie Smith.
Smith and Cain chose to proceed with a high-risk pregnancy at this point, knowing that they would have to say goodbye to her shortly after birth and that there were risks to other children involved, no matter what they did.
The couple decided on the names Skye and Kali for their daughter. “We knew Skye needed to have a name even before she was born,” Smith said. “Knowing that she would only live for seconds or minutes, I wanted to call her this time.” Smith wanted her name to have meaning, and “Skye was a place we knew it would always be, that we could look up at the sky and remember our baby.”
When Smith went into labor on April 30 at 30 weeks, she needed an emergency C-section. At Kingston Hospital in the United Kingdom, where the twins were born, Smith and Cann were able to have a “grief midwife” during the birth and stay in a special room in the hospital called the “Daisy Room,” where families can spend time before and shortly after the baby’s death.
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Twins Skye and Callie can only be together for a moment before Skye dies.Millie Smith
Smith said, “When the girls were born, they both cried. It was a great moment, because they told us Sky wouldn’t make a sound or move.” The couple was able to spend three hours with Skye. “We were hugging Skye when she died,” Smith said. “It was the worst time of our lives. I’ve never felt pain before. But I’m proud that he fought so hard to spend time with us.”
After saying goodbye to Skye, Smith and Cain were inspired to create the purple dolls. Baby Kali still needs to spend time in the NICU, where three sets of twins were born at the same time. “A lot of nurses knew what happened, but as time went on people stopped talking about Skye,” Smith said. “About four weeks later, everyone acted as if nothing had happened, meaning the family around me didn’t know about our situation.”
One morning, the overwhelmed mother of twins in the NICU turned to Smith and innocently remarked that Smith was “so lucky” that she didn’t have twins. “Up until this point, I had never cried in front of any of these parents,” Smith said, “but there it was. I left the room in tears. The comment completely broke me. I didn’t have the guts to go back and tell our story.”
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After her experience, Millie Smith created a poster and symbol that alerted hospital staff and visitors to the NICU.Millie Smith lost a twin or multiple.
It was this moment that Smith decided he needed to create something so that moment would never happen again. She decided to design a poster for the NICU that would explain and remind both hospital staff and visitors that any incubator with a purple butterfly on it meant the baby was one or more of a series of missing babies. “I chose the butterflies, because I thought it was appropriate to remember the children who flew, the color purple because it’s appropriate for both boys and girls,” Smith said. Now, the idea has spread to Kingston Hospital, with interest from other hospitals in many countries around the world.
Callie is now eight weeks old, and Smith and Cann have already started work to establish the Skye High Foundation in honor of their twins to support the four purple dolls as well as other efforts to help families like them – in particular, to create support groups and grief counselors for other mothers and fathers who have lost babies during pregnancy in hospitals. Smith believes in the importance and need for bereavement midwives like herself to support and counsel families during such a profound loss. Her hope is to raise enough money to help families with children like Skye around the world. As delicately beautiful as they are, purple butterflies are fascinating to observe in nature. But have you ever wondered what these animals symbolize? To discover the deeper spiritual meaning behind this eye-catching insect, let’s explore its symbolism and the meaning surrounding its appearance.
Purple butterflies are generally associated with change and positive change. They can represent a transformation of the soul, a sign of something changing or a sign of a new beginning. The color purple is also associated with royalty, so the presence of a purple butterfly can be seen as a sign of spiritual power or divine guidance.
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A purple butterfly vision can be interpreted as a message from the universe or a higher power, reminding you to stay positive and open to change.
In addition to transformation, purple butterflies can represent joy, creativity, mystery, and beauty. Its vibrant shades can add color and life to any space and brighten up even dark spaces.
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